Heavy snowfall in Greece and Turkey caused major disruption, flight delays, and evacuations as large parts of the two countries were covered in a blanket of snow.
The rare snowstorm brought the Greek capital Athens and Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul to a complete standstill, where the related officials are scrambling to rescue the stranded individuals and clean the roads.
Greek Government Spokesperson, Giannis Oikonomou said that parts of Athens were hit by power cuts and the officials were working to restore the electricity.
Oikonomou added that rescue workers had worked hard through the night to assist thousands of people stranded in their cars on a motorway in the Greek capital. “Even the Greek army took out to the streets to help the trapped people.”
Oikonomou furthered that the soldiers handed out food, water, and blankets to drivers who were reportedly stranded for more than 10 hours.
More than 3,500 people were rescued and around 1,200 cars remained stuck on the Attiki Odos, the capital’s main ring-road, Oikonomou added.
Greek carrier Aegean Airlines had already announced the revocation of five flights.
Istanbul Airport posted on its website said the flight operations were suspended due to heavy snowfalls. Turkish Airlines also announced it has canceled all flights from the airport as the runways were covered in a blanket of snow.
Istanbul Governor, Ali Yerlikaya said they have temporarily banned the private vehicles until emergency teams are able to clear the snow from the streets.
Istanbul Mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu said the rescue team has spread 55,000 tons of salt on the roads to melt the snow.
Imamoglu also called on the residents to clear snow in front of their homes and shops to help emergency teams.
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